PhD Dissertation Defense: NITC Fellow Patrick Singleton
The Portland State University Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is pleased to announce Patrick Singleton's PhD Dissertation Defense: "Exploring the Positive Utility of Travel and Mode Choice."
Adviser: Dr. Kelly Clifton
The “positive utility of travel” (PUT) concept suggests that travel may provide benefits and be motivated by factors beyond simply reaching a destination. This dissertation explores the PUT idea theoretically and empirically, using the results of a novel 2016 survey of nearly 700 commuters in the Portland, OR, region. First, a critical literature review strengthens the PUT concept. Next, the two main PUT aspects—travel-based multitasking and subjective well-being in the travel domain—are analyzed, and potential determinants examined. Finally, an integrated choice and latent variable model reveals significant associations between PUT measures and commute mode choices. Findings contribute to travel behavior research and knowledge and offer implications for transportation policy interventions and planning for autonomous vehicles.
Patrick Singleton has been a NITC scholar, NITC dissertation fellow and NITC student of the year. He was also an Eno fellow and TRB’s top-ranked Eisenhower Fellow. He graduates this spring with a Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering. Patrick studies active travel behavior and travel demand. His master's thesis examined the complex decision-making processes surrounding walking and bicycling, and recommended how best to model active travel choices.